If you are in the market to buy a used car, you are not alone. It has been estimated that the typical car or truck in the United States will have about three different owners over the course of its lifespan. The sales of certified pre-owned cars and trucks reached 2.6 million units in 2016. When you set out to look at used cars for sale, you should not have any trouble finding some that meet your criteria and standards.
- Look at your finances. Whenever you are looking to make a big purchase such as a car or a truck, the first thing you should do is take a look at your finances and your credit. You need to know how much money you have coming in every month and what your monthly expenses are. A lot of people have less of a handle on this information than they think they have so going over this is something you need to do before you set out looking for used cars for sale. You should also have your credit run so you are not surprised by what is in your credit report when you go to a bank or to the dealership for a loan. The last thing you need is to find mistakes in your credit report when you are in the lending department of the dealership.
- Set a budget. Before you set out to start looking at used cars for sale and after you have determined what the status of your credit score and report, you need to decide what you are willing and able to spend on a new car. Before you head out to the car dealership, you need to have a number in mind. You also should keep in mind the fact that you will have to spend some money on the title and tags plus you have to buy insurance for the car or truck. All of these should be included in the amount of money you are going to spend to get the car or truck that you want.
- Get a loan. Before you look at used cars for sale, talk to your bank. If your bank will not give you a loan for a used car or truck, you can go to other financial institutions such as credit unions and the like. If it is at all possible to go to the car dealership with a loan in hand, you will have a much better chance of getting a good deal on your car loan. You will get better terms and a better interest rate for your loan so it is worth the time to talk to your banking institution before
- Think about how you use the vehicle. Think about how much you will be driving the vehicle that you are going to buy. Do you have children who play sports? Do you need a truck to transport equipment or other items? What you will use the new car for can make a big difference in the kind of car or truck you buy and what kinds of add-ons you will want. You should have a list of features you need and some that you would like when you go to look at used cars for sale.
- Go to the dealership. When you have an idea of what you need out of the new car or truck that you are buying (even if it is used, it is new to you), go to the used car dealership. A lot of people have this mental images of what used car salespeople look like. They think they will be assaulted by vultures who will not let them leave the lot without buying something. This is not at all true. Car salespeople want to make their customers happy. Show them your budget, let them know what you are looking for. Test drive any car or truck you are thinking about buying.
Looking at used cars for sale should not be a painful or scary experience. When you go to the dealership, you will have a better experience if you have done the prep work before you go in to buy a car.